Sorry for the lack of posts. I'm working through a few things that have been bugging me and I also just got back from some time away from it all up north. It was a really good week.
Before I left I scheduled the regular five-year inspection of the gas meter that is in my basement. Most of the latest residential construction around here puts the gas meter outside of the structure and they are retrofitting older homes to do the same, but there are still plenty around here where the meter is inside. The inspection has always been a routine thing that takes just a few minutes and I kind of blew it off a little the last couple of weeks, since there were no obvious problems and I had other stuff that was a higher priority.
The inspector this morning actually found a leak this time, confirmed by a tech who was summoned and arrived a few minutes later. Though no odor was discernible to any of us, both of their monitors recorded a leak level of about 3%. The lower limit where a gas leak can become combustible is generally 5%.
They shut off the gas and another crew came in and fixed it quickly, but still, it kind of freaked me out a little. I have no idea how long it had been leaking or how bad it could have gotten if the inspection had not happened. Like I said, there was no gas smell in the basement or anywhere else. The gas company crews couldn't shed any light on what caused it or how long it had been leaking either.
The bottom line is that I won't be blowing off those inspections anymore. And I'll be a little more diligent about sniffing around where the meter is on occasion, even though smell wasn't a good detector this time. Don't blow off that meter inspection.